The Silence of the Lambs

Revealing mistake: During Lecter's escape, the SWAT team arrives and jumps out of the police car at the courthouse with their Ithaca 37 shotguns. All of them are shown chambering their rounds except the the officer on the right, who pulls back again on the fore stock and asks "ready?" That should've ejected a shell and left the gun unloaded. (01:21:40)

Joey221995

Other mistake: When Clarice goes to Crawford's office, she sees on the board a newspaper article titled "Bill skins fifth", but the article is not about Buffalo Bill. It's about Hannibal Lecter (his capture, the charges against him and so on). Nowhere is Bill mentioned. (00:05:50)

Continuity mistake: When Lecter is in the ambulance, wearing another man's face, as the ambulance officer has his back to Lecter, Lecter takes the large dressing off his face and pulls the oxygen mask down, then sits up, but when he does, the oxygen mask would be in the way; it is around his neck, he would have had to pull it over his head to get rid of it, but he didn't do this - the oxygen mask vanishes. (01:25:05)

kh1616

The Silence of the Lambs mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the ambulance, after Lecter escapes, the towel on his face swaps from slightly bloody, to completely covered in blood between shots. (01:25:00)

Sacha Premium member

The Silence of the Lambs mistake picture

Continuity mistake: In the very beginning, when Crawford calls Clarice in to talk about interviewing Hannibal, his left shirt collar is over his vest. Two shots later, the same collar is under the vest. (00:07:50)

ployp

Deliberate mistake: The number of acts Lecter performed during his escape from the individual jail cell and until he was attended to by an officer (who thought he was an injured officer) would have taken a lot of time and effort to complete - way more time than he could have gone undetected by one of the many officers in the building. Slashing/ bludgeoning to death a person can be done fairly quickly (munching on a victim's face adds time!), but three particular acts required a substantial amount of time, especially for an elderly man whose ultimate goal was escape: Swapping clothes (undressing and dressing) with a police officer and trimming off his face/scalp to appear to be that officer, then getting to a strategic location to be discovered; Setting a dead officer on the roof of the elevator; and, somehow hanging / impaling (crucifixion-style) an officer from the top of the jail cell (which appeared to be around 10' high). The latter feat would be challenging for TWO physically-fit officers.

KeyZOid

Other mistake: Exterior views of Buffalo Bill's house showed the house was not very big and his yard space was limited. The amount of rooms, their sizes, and hall space purportedly in the basement were too excessive to believably be under that house. (00:49:20)

KeyZOid

Character mistake: Clarice was given clear, explicit instructions by Crawford before going to the asylum to see Lecter, including: do not touch the glass; do not approach the glass; tell him nothing personal; do not accept anything from him. Barney also gave the specific rules to Clarice when she got there (e.g, "you don't get near the glass"; use the food tray carrier to give him papers), and informed her he would be watching her on video. An FBI Agent TRAINEE is under close scrutiny and failure to meet the high standards and/or rigorous training can/will result in dismissal from the academy; a student must follow the rules and demonstrate she has what it takes to graduate and is suitable to become a member of the FBI. Given the high standards and relative difficulty in securing a position with the FBI, a trainee would not blatantly break the rules or virtually disregard the direct orders of a supervisor like Clarice did - especially during the very first assignment. The end does not justify the means.

KeyZOid

Continuity mistake: Lecter asks for a lamb chop dinner, rare, and when they arrive, they are rare. When we see them later, they look well done. (01:15:50)

kh1616

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: They don't look different in any of the shots. It's the same lambchops, same temperature. They are cooked as is, so they have a dark outside but inside they are probably rare. They do look darker in the last scene but that's probably because they have gone cold and dried out.

lionhead

Suggested correction: How would a mistake like that come to be? Someone cooked them in between shots? Too much time elapsed and the substance oxidized? The potato and everything else on the plate look the same, and so do the chops, shape-wise. They might be of a slightly darker color in the very last shot with Boyle on the floor, but the plate has also been sprayed with blood, so that could account for this - mostly perceived - change.

Sammo Premium member

A mistake like this would come to be if they're using real food and not props and had to do a cut, change camera position, do a reshoot, etc and had to set the scene again and redo the cooking of the food, or remake the props for some reason, but now the food looks different. What we see as a continuous scene in a movie or TV show is not always done in one take, which is why the site is filled with countless continuity mistakes.

Bishop73

Continuity mistake: Before Lecter takes the towel off his face in the ambulance, a bunch of tubes suddenly appear all over his chest and waist, between shots. (01:24:55)

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Lecter is in the Memphis jail cell, trying to escape, there is a shot of him eating the face of Sgt. Pembry, and a nano-second later, you see Lecter trying to completely shove the jail door on him. No way these two events could have transpired so quickly. (01:15:50)

Michael Prete

Factual error: When Starling leaves from Memphis, the jet shown taking off is in St Louis, not Memphis. This can be noted by not just the McDonnell Douglas sign, but the fact that the sign is on their Headquarters Hangar, which is in St. Louis. I have lived in St louis all my life: there is no mistaking this sign and building (even in the dark) for another hangar or sign in another city. It also helps to know McDonnell Douglas had no hangar in Memphis, nor any buildings with any signage at the time of the movie at all.

dablues7

Plot hole: When Clarice visits Lecter in his new makeshift cell, she brings his drawings, which were left behind in Baltimore. She tells him how she saw the lambs being killed and heard them screaming, taking one lamb with her when she ran away. As the guards approached his cell after she leaves, the camera pans across the cell, taking in the drawings Clarice had brought, and the top one is a very detailed drawing of Clarice holding a spring lamb. She only told just told Lecter about the lamb, not enough time for him to have done that drawing.

kh1616

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: First; I do agree and support the mistake. But playing devil's advocate for a moment; she told him back in Baltimore about the ranch and how they had sheep and horses, so in theory he could have already started drawing back then and figure that a memory about the place was linked to those animals, adding the exact detail afterwards. Should also be noted that the guards approach the cell 'after she leaves', yes, but it's an 'after' that happens after she already flew back all the way from Memphis, so a few hours later.

Sammo Premium member

Your last sentence corrects the mistake, the top drawing is new and wasn't brought by Clarice. You can see chalk on top of the drawing indicating he had just made it. Several hours passed between her delivering her story and him receiving his dinner.

lionhead

Character mistake: When the scientists cut open the cocoon found in the throat of a murder victim, they are not wearing gloves even though Clarice specifically states that it was found behind the soft palate of a murder victim. (00:48:00)

Revealing mistake: When Clarice goes to Crawford's office, on the board there is a newspaper article titled "Bill Attacks Again, Woman Missing..." on the left and another titled "FBI Links 'Skinning..." on the right. The three top paragraphs on the left columns of both are identical (with different spacing). Two of the yellow lines on the right one are the same too.

gf.nekro

Continuity mistake: Before Clarice chases Buffalo Bill down the basement steps, she quickly slips off her green overcoat, letting it fall to the floor. (I wasn't able to see if the green/red checked blazer and/or the grey scarf she almost always wore were slipped off at the same time - the view was obstructed by a table.) After Bill is killed, Clarice exits the house and comes down the front steps wearing the green/red checked suit jacket (blazer), but does not have the green overcoat or scarf with her. (01:43:13 - 01:50:17)

KeyZOid

Continuity mistake: On ground floor in Memphis, the female police officer says "No, nobody went up." Sgt. Tate at this point starts to croak something, and behind him as shots as heard one of the men behind him is walking forward. The feet of that person are in the circular section of the floor decoration, but in the next shot both policemen coming from that direction are a couple steps behind that spot. (01:18:50)

Sammo Premium member

Continuity mistake: The two guards approach Hannibal's cage and put down the tray with the lamb dinner. Lt. Boyle murmurs "Wonder what he wants for breakfast." He is passing the club to Sgt. Pembry holding it with his right hand on the tip. In the next shot, when he finishes quipping "Some damn thing from the zoo?" his hand is on the opposite end of the baton, past the handle. (01:15:10)

Sammo Premium member

Continuity mistake: Clarice is at the desk of the Courthouse in Memphis. She hands the ID to the agent, who holds it with both hands. Cut, and he's holding it with just the right hand. The female agent next to him in the second shot is leaning against her own left hand, but she had both on the desk in the first shot. (01:05:30)

Sammo Premium member

Other mistake: In Memphis, the vain Dr. Chilton is giving an interview in front of the courthouse. So the captions say, because the building he is talking in front of (in actuality the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum in Pittsburg) has just a dimly lit "Shelby County War Museum" sign. From the look of the hall, the latter seems to be correct. (01:05:10)

Sammo Premium member

Jack Crawford: Believe me, you do not want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.

More quotes from The Silence of the Lambs
More trivia for The Silence of the Lambs

Answer: Knowing about her past gives him an advantage in how he can manipulate her - he understands her fears, weaknesses, strengths, and so on. A psychiatrist normally deconstructs a patient's psychological make-up to better understand and help them, but in Lecter's case, he uses this knowledge against his victims. However, as he learns about Clarice, he becomes sympathetic and protective toward her.

raywest Premium member

Answer: Also, he loves psychiatry and analyzing people. He is bored in his cell and this is a chance to do something he enjoys a lot.

Answer: Clarice's answers also enable Lecter to assess her honesty/ integrity and sincerity, as well as ascertain if she is trustworthy - or even worthy - enough for him to reveal certain kinds of information.

KeyZOid

Answer: I remember a scene where he seems to roll his eyes in a kind of ecstasy as he comprehends, then thanks her, and shortly after touches her hand as he passes the folder. "People will say we're in love."

More questions & answers from The Silence of the Lambs

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